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Thread: Where do Zawadzki and Gao go from here?

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    ... it really does make me wonder if jumping straight to the GP after winning the junior title hurt both Gold and Zawadzki in terms of becoming good competitors. ...

    Then there is Gao. She competed on the JGP after placing 3rd at Junior Nats. She did quite well on the JGP that season and even won bronze at the final, had a solid debut as a senior at Nationals finishing 5th in a tough field, was sent to JW and placed 8th - and that wasn't a great performance to her. Given her JGP success and placement at senior Nationals, it would have been sensible to move up to the GP, but she and her coaches wisely decided to stay on the junior circuit another season. That season Christina grew a lot but also developed a consistent 3f-3t and showed she was capable of putting up big scores internationally, even at junior competitions. She gained valuable experience,..... Her good results this season are really not that surprising given her ability, work ethic, and VALUABLE EXPERIENCE GAINED FROM HAVING COMPETED IN A CONSIDERABLE NUMBER OF INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS WITHOUT A BUNCH OF HYPE.

    Say what you will about the JGP, but it's still valuable international experience and I think Christina's two full seasons on that circuit really helped her as a competitor. She had ups and downs and learned from them and is now a better competitor because of it. Part of me thinks if Agnes and Gracie had done a full season on the JGP before making the leap up to seniors, nationally and internationally at the same time, they may be more steady at this point. ...
    There's a lot to be said for this viewpoint. I agree with you. International experience at the junior level, at least a full season if not more, should be almost a requirement for USFS to impose on age-eligible skaters who may do well at US national level competitions, but are unseasoned in internationals of of the caliber of JGP or at least Senior B's.

  2. #62
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Then USFS needs to do a better job of development and choosing who goes to internationals based on summer competitions leading up to the season - Gracie had three of the biggest scores over the summer before her Junior National title but only got a JGP when someone who they had slotted ahead of her tanked in their first event (and based on summer scores, it should have been apparent that was going to happen!!).

    Gracie is figuring it out and she's had exactly FIVE Senior international events under her belt and has gotten through some of the learning curve. For example, she could have had a fall in the SP on the Lutz but she's learned to fight for it.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by flying camel View Post
    Does anyone know if Christina is on scholarship at Harvard?
    Harvard, like most if not all Ivy league schools, does not give academic or athletic scholarships. They give need-based aid on the basis of the family's financial situation. I don't know if Gao qualified for any of that kind of assistance.

  4. #64
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    Here are some of Christina's comments after 4CC (from Flade's article):

    “I’m really happy with my short, but my long was definitely not my best,” noted Gao. She already set her eyes on the future: “My posture and the way I present on the ice, my overall presence, can be improved a lot. I want to make everything strong and much better so that when I skate, I can be the best, and even if I mess up a little bit, I’m still near the top.”

    I find this encouraging. Definitely shows that Christina knows where she needs to improve and fully intends to work on those areas. Which is really all we can ask of a skater.

  5. #65
    Celebrating the Excellence of #VirtueMoir golden411's Avatar
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    Five favorite things with Christina Gao
    Harvard freshman dreams of Les Misérables, treats herself to fries


  6. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    One thing I will say about Zawadzki, I have a feeling, and this might just be because I like her skating, that she would actually be well-received/score well at international events if she skated well at them. The thing is, she's so prone to mistakes, especially in the FS, that we don't really have a good idea of how the international judges would score a clean Zawadzki FS. My guess is pretty well. However, yes, she certainly has some consistency issues to work out but luckily there is still time.

    I will say though how it's curious how both Zawadzki and now Gold seem to struggle with the pressure/hype/nerves at senior international competitions, and seeing how Gao has become quite consistent now that she's through with her growing pains, it really does make me wonder if jumping straight to the GP after winning the junior title hurt both Gold and Zawadzki in terms of becoming good competitors. Gracie had one JGP, fair enough, but Agnes had none. Both girls did not make it to Nationals the year before they won the junior title at Nationals. Both girls competed as Novices the season before that. Both girls tore up domestic competitions leading up to their Junior Nationals wins. Both girls got sent to JW after winning the junior title at Nats and both girls won silver at JW then chose to jump up to the GP the following season and managed to get two GP assignments. In 2 years they went from 1st year juniors who didn't make it to US Nationals to competing at 2 senior GP events and being touted as the next star of figure skating capable of becoming National champion in their senior debuts.

    Then there is Gao. She competed on the JGP after placing 3rd at Junior Nats. She did quite well on the JGP that season and even won bronze at the final, had a solid debut as a senior at Nationals finishing 5th in a tough field, was sent to JW and placed 8th - and that wasn't a great performance to her. Given her JGP success and placement at senior Nationals, it would have been sensible to move up to the GP, but she and her coaches wisely decided to stay on the junior circuit another season. That season Christina grew a lot but also developed a consistent 3f-3t and showed she was capable of putting up big scores internationally, even at junior competitions. She gained valuable experience, winning 2 silvers at her JGPs and getting to compete at the JGPF again. Then she was 5th at Nationals again but admitted she gave winning the pewter away due to a couple mistakes in her FS. Then she was 4th at JW in a very deep field, again due to a difficult FS after being in medal position after the SP. It wasn't until the following season that she finally made the jump up to the GP, she was injured that whole summer but was able to put out a pretty decent performance at CoC considering, placing 5th and beating Murakami. Then she had the meltdown at COR, but no one was really hyping her, she put it behind her, skated much better at Nats, was 5th again but that was actually a pretty good result for her given her injury and earlier results, then went to JW and placed 7th but otherwise skated ok. Her good results this season are really not that surprising given her ability, work ethic, and VALUABLE EXPERIENCE GAINED FROM HAVING COMPETED IN A CONSIDERABLE NUMBER OF INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIONS WITHOUT A BUNCH OF HYPE.

    Say what you will about the JGP, but it's still valuable international experience and I think Christina's two full seasons on that circuit really helped her as a competitor. She had ups and downs and learned from them and is now a better competitor because of it. Part of me thinks if Agnes and Gracie had done a full season on the JGP before making the leap up to seniors, nationally and internationally at the same time, they may be more steady at this point. I know they were good enough to compete on the GP but still, they could have competed on the JGP and then senior at Nationals, if they delivered at Nats, they'd still be considered for a good placement. Mirai had competed on the JGP the year she won Nationals in her senior debut. Josh Farris has way more international experience than Gracie and also won silver at JW (finishing half a point behind the winner as opposed to 16) and competed on the JGP this season, and the judges at Nationals did take him seriously as evidenced by his winning pewter. Christina Gao was talked about as being in the mix for the senior Worlds team in 2010-2011 after competing on the JGP that fall and putting up impressive scores and delivering 3f-3t and finished 5th at Nationals even before that season when she was just a little girl making her senior debut. Agnes and Gracie were both really consistent the season leading up to their Junior National titles, so it really does make me wonder..
    Yeah but even with two full seasons on the JGP Gao was less then impressive in her first season on the Senior GP circuit . Heck Gracie easily beat her at Junior Worlds last season. So if it took Gao more then a year to figure things out why can't Gracie?

  7. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jammers View Post
    Yeah but even with two full seasons on the JGP Gao was less then impressive in her first season on the Senior GP circuit . Heck Gracie easily beat her at Junior Worlds last season. So if it took Gao more then a year to figure things out why can't Gracie?
    Gao was injured all summer right up to her first GP event last season, however, I'm sure that contributed to her not doing so well. And her issue has tended to be peaking too early in the season more than nerves related it would appear. With Gracie I think the issue is more dealing with nerves and pressure.

  8. #68
    Celebrating the Excellence of #VirtueMoir golden411's Avatar
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    Christina Gao balances Harvard education, Olympic dream
    Sycamore grad to represent U.S. in Four Continents Championship

    (Apologies if this article already was posted somewhere on GS days ago.
    Gao tweeted a link to it today, although it was published to coincide with Four Continents.)

  9. #69
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    I think Christina would do very well skating to On my own from Les Mis. Maybe she will!

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by silverlake22 View Post
    Gao was injured all summer right up to her first GP event last season, however, I'm sure that contributed to her not doing so well. And her issue has tended to be peaking too early in the season more than nerves related it would appear. With Gracie I think the issue is more dealing with nerves and pressure.
    Agree.

    To be honest, there's no way Gao can beat either Gold or Zawadzki if they hit their programs. She's not beating Ashley, either. If Nagasu wasn't sick and rotated her jumps she'd have easily passed Gao at Nationals.

    Gao doesn't do anything exceptionally well enough to put her past those other skaters. Her jumps and spins are both below average even by US standards (which is actually a pretty high standard) and her skating skills are nothing to rave about. Her programs are empty, and her line could be better if she'd learn how to keep her legs straight when they aren't on the ice.

    IF she wants to make the Olympic team, she's going to need them to make some serious mistakes to get there, and for some reason I don't see that happening. Olympic Year seems to be when the top 4-6 skaters all "bring it at Nationals" and people argue about whether the Bronze or Pewter medalist was screwed or not :-P If Wagner, Gold, and Zawadzki bring it at Nationals next year (nevermind Nagasu and perhaps even Caroline Zhang), then Gao isn't even getting a Pewter medal.

    Putting Bobek in the same "category" as... Debbie Thomas seriously? The judges actually loved Bobek. If they didn't, she wouldn't have won a Medal at worlds. She was just a headcase. She has fabulous line, fabulous extension. She was doing spirals with full split back in 96 or before. She had a fantastic Layback. What plagued Bobek was inconsistency with the jumps - especially that Lutz.

    Debbie Thomas also had great line and some of the best spin positions ever. She had great extension.

    The fact that one skater is built differently than another doesn't categorize them as anything. It's almost (but not quite :-P ) upsetting to see people lumping skaters together like that. There is no "typical US skater" anymore than there is a typical JPN or Typical RUS skater type.
    Last edited by SkateNater; 02-18-2013 at 02:48 PM.

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